Now that Manny Machado and Bryce Harper have set the standard for elite free agents, Los Angeles Angels fans can turn their attention to keeping Mike Trout. The 27-year-old Trout is open to an extension with the club, but he gave the team a strict window for negotiating a possible deal, according to The Athletic’s Fabian Ardaya.
Trout, who won’t be a free agent until after the 2020 season, said he did not want to negotiate a new contract during spring training or the regular season. That leaves next offseason as the only time Trout is willing to discuss a long-term deal with the Angels.
While next offseason is a relatively small window for a player who still has two years to go before hitting the market, it does give the Angels three to four months to put together their best offer to retain Trout. The team should also be at an advantage, as they’ll be the only team that can negotiate with Trout during that period.
That doesn’t guarantee anything, though. After seeing how much Harper and Machado received in free agency, Trout should have some incentive to hit the market. Considering he’s on pace to be one of the best baseball players ever — if not the best — Trout will set the new standard for players once he signs his next deal. There’s a good chance he blows out of the water the contracts signed by Harper and Machado.
Maybe the Angels will be the team to give him that deal. They have the best opportunity to make it happen right now. And given how much Trout has meant to the organization, perhaps the team makes him an offer he can’t refuse.
But the pull of free agency might prove too tempting, and everyone knows how much Trout loves the city of Philadelphia. It might be worth it for Trout to wait things out to see if the Phillies — or any other team — can scrounge up some “stupid” money before the 2020 offseason.
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